Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Outings

Two ideas here for outings which I enjoyed recently. They both give great insight into our history. There's nothing to replace actually visiting important places and seeing objects that speak for a past that is remote in one sense but in another, very real sense, is connected to each of us as Irish people today.

Get the Luas from Tallaght and get off at the Museum. To my shame I admit that I visited it for the first time last week. It's a wonderful set of buildings to begin with, laid out round a hugely impressive square, obviously where soldiers trooped up and down in ages past. The exhibition on at the moment is devoted to Irish High Crosses. About six of the Crosses from the 9th century on are arranged in life-sized form in the exhibition space. They are replicas that were made at the beginning of the 20th century. Seeing them all together makes for an impressive sight and you just have to wonder at the meaning of it all, of the crosses themselves, of the monasteries of the time (Clonmacnoise, Monasterboice etc.), of religion then, and religion today.

And talking of monasteries leads to the second idea for a summer outing. We're very nicely situated here in Saggart/Rathcoole (and even more so in Brittas) for getting into the Wicklow mountains. It takes a little over an hour to drive to Glendalough. My wife and I went there recently during the week when it was quiet enough and were amazed that parking (Lower Carpark) is FREE, and that it's only 3Euro into the Interpretative Centre. Again, one cannot but be struck at the wonder of it all, the medieval paved entrance, the round tower, St Kevin's Church etc. And then the High Cross, this time in the Centre, for protection.

So Ireland is there for our discovery over the coming months, the beaches, yes (of course, and may it be sunny!), the golf courses maybe for others, and then quieter places that remind us of our past.

Enjoy the summer wherever you go.

Donal

COMPETITION

QUESTION: What is the name of the High Cross with the cats on it?

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